Everyone is familiar with the concept of a burglar alarm, and everyone is familiar with the concept of a home security system, but not as many are familiar with a popular new kind of home protection product, the burglar deterrent. While not directly physically threatening to burglars, unsuspecting guests or postal employees, these techniques can help dissuade a contemplative thief or other intruder from attempting to break into your home. The theory behind these techniques is that the vast majority of home intruders hope not to be caught, which means not being seen or discovered during the intrusion process. Someone being home, an outside light, video surveillance, a busy street, attentive neighbors, and other factors can all play the role of the watchful eye, and the presence of such a watchful eye is likely to keep burglars at bay.
Most of the time an intruder picks a residence with nobody at home. In fact, although it is said that a residential burglary happens every 15 seconds, the truth is that the concentration of those ‘seconds’ occurs during the daytime while families and homeowners are away at work or school. These long windows of time when the house is unoccupied give the burglar lots of hours to not only figure out a way into the residence, but thoroughly scavenge for valuable goods. Many of these burglar deterrent devices and techniques are designed to provide a ‘presence’ in the home even when there is none. This achieves the same effect as sitting attentive awaiting trouble, without actually house arresting yourself to the property.
The first kind of burglar deterrent is that which creates the ‘somebody’s home’ effect. Such devices can range from the sound of a dog barking triggered by a motion detector on the porch, to lighting set on a timer or motion detector exterior lighting, to a ‘Fake TV’ device that throws the glow of a real television screen on the wall, but without leaving the TV on all day every day running up the electric bill. When a potential intruder thinks he has company in the house, it’s likely he’ll move on to a much quieter location.
The next kind of burglar deterrent is the physical deterrent. These devices are designed to physically make it impossible to gain unwanted entry into the home. The most tried and true of these devices, window bars, are a great option for outright security but many homeowners find the look unrefined and cumbersome. Other alternatives might be interior door and window locks, deadbolts, perimeter fencing (still low enough that the burglar in not inadvertently provided with cover from the street view), and even landscaping such as placing unforgiving flora like cacti or rosebushes under low lying windows.
Finally, there are burglar deterrents which fall under the home alarm system category, designed to scare a burglar away with a loud and sudden visual or audio display of warning lights and alarm sounds. Many homeowners keep burglars far at pay with perimeter or driveway alarms. Others count on alarms which go off upon entry to the home such as window, door, glass break and other alarms. Video surveillance systems with glowing red lights can also be a deterrent, and even the fake one’s (which run about $10 to $20) can do the trick when the aim is to deter a burglar!